Obed Watershed Community Association (OWCA) is a Crossville, TN-based nonprofit with the mission to protect and enhance the watersheds of the
 Obed River and its tributaries within Cumberland County, TN through community education, creating opportunities for community research and service projects, and promoting conservation, recreation, and best management practices.  It also supports activities in other nearby watersheds both within Cumberland County and surrounding counties.

 all activities and upcoming Events please continue scrolling!


Keep it Clean 5K

and One Mile Fun Run

9:00 a.m. Saturday October 10th

Cumberland Mountain State Park

    This fun event is the primary fundraising event for OWCA during the year.  It fits with our themes of enjoying the outdoors and raising the visibility of clean water.  While the timed 5K is attractive to serious runners, those who just want to have fun are welcome too both for the 5K or the one mile Fun Run.  Both races are on park roads.  If you would like to help with the events, contact Bill Morgan at 456-9040, but we really need everyone’s help in spreading the word and getting people signed up for the race.  The fee for the race is $25 for the 5K and $15 for the Fun Run with a $5/person discount for teams of five or more for either race.

     Everyone who pre-registers for the 5K is guaranteed one of the fabulous high tech T-shirts with this year's design by Dale Safdie.  Registrants for the Fun Run get a goodie bag.  You can register for either race by clicking on the "Register Now" button above.
    Our on-line store will take your money and sign you up but we also need more information from you including your T-shirt size.  So please also download the fillable registration form and mail it in or email to pgwhstl@gmail.com.

  What a WaterFest!

    A very busy June and July were capped off by another successful WaterFest, drawing over 3,000 people.  The participation of volunteers was extraordinary and increasingly is making our work possible.  Our Stream Team did its annual clean up at Devils Breakfast Table and then turned its attention to removing debris dams on three stream segments in the headwaters of the Obed.  Lots of other accomplishments to report below.  Now as summer ends, we’re turning our attention to a number of community education opportunities and building for two major fall events -  the Keep it Clean 5K Race and Fun Run, set for October 10th and our 10th Annual Meeting, set for November 6.  We hope you’ll find a way to participate in one of OWCA’s activities outlined below.

                  RECENT ACTIVITIES

Don Hazel of the Fairfield Glade trail group led the 2 mile hike that leads down to Daddys Creek and follows the river before returning to the higher parking lot.  It’s a great wooded hike with lots of wildflowers and diverse plants.  One of many that has been developed by the Fairfield Glade Hiking Club.

Daddys Creek Overlook Trail draws small group.
Centennial Park Workdays

      We had two work days in June.  At the first, we weeded and mulched the blueberry areas.  At the second, we weeded the area near the shelter, and did some weed-eating along the outside of the vegetation along the stream channels.  Thanks to Amy and Abby Steele-Wortel along with Jennie, Meg, Sydney, and Killian Diem for helping out with this.  Anyone who wants to adopt a part of the park to maintain is welcome to do so.  Let Dennis know and he can get you started.

Debris and Debris Dam Clearing on the Obed River and Spiers Branch

    The Stream Team along with a couple of volunteers spent much of June and July clearing tree tops and debris dams from two sections of the Obed River - below Holiday Dam and below the wastewater Plant - and the last segment of Spiers Branch below Deerfield Dr.  Altogether, five complete debris dams and seventeen partial debris dams were removed.  In addition, thirteen revetments were installed on eroding banks and one large rock vane was constructed.  This work completed the 319 contract with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture that included the Little Obed Genesis project.  Thanks to Scott Collie, Christina Burgess, Donavon Phillips, and Jamarcus Pelcher who worked with Dennis, along with volunteers Aston Burgess and Adron Damron-McNally.

    Most of this material removed was a result of the ice storm in February and removing it prevented unnecessary bank erosion as the stream would have cut new paths around the obstructions.  These three stream segments were originally worked on in 2010 and 2011 and it was gratifying to see that all the original work continues to provide stabilization to the banks in these areas.

Wetland Visit Leads to Repair Project

    On our visit to the OWCA wetland in conjunction with the Frog and Toad workshop in April, we noticed that there had been significant erosion of the outlet of the upper wetland.  The bottom had eroded behind the dam structure and was moving upstream, lowering the water level in the wetland and potentially recreating the original stream channel, leaving the wetland dry.    After obtaining permission from TDEC to make the repairs, rock was brought in to build a new rock structure designed to restore the original water level.  Over three tons of stone were placed by hand to create the structure as well as a number of loads of sandstone gravel to fill the spaces between the larger rock.  With the help of Scott Collie and Eli Lester, Dennis was able to construct the new grade structure in five days.  We’ll be monitoring its performance through heavy rains.

Stone Elementary Nature Trail

    Thanks to the outreach efforts of Annell Fields, the long discussed addition of a nature trail at Stone Elementary School took a great leap into reality in May.  Dennis, Scott Collie, Taneesha Dutchover, and volunteer Christina Burgess laid out and cleared a trail that runs to and along one of the creeks, a tributary to the Little Obed, that runs through the school property.

After a couple days of clearing, Annell was able to conduct a couple of nature enrichment sessions with three different classes of students, introducing them to the stream, the trail, and her pet corn snake.  The second grade class also participated in the planting of a tulip poplar tree near the parking lot of the school.  We hope to continue working with the teachers and the school PTO to develop the trail as an educational focus for the school.     


Staff Member Angela with a turtle in Centennial ParkFormer Staff Member Angela with a Snapping Turtle in Centennial Park. 

Obed River Stream Clean-up

9:00 to Noon

Saturday, September 12, 2015

  OWCA is sponsoring a stream cleanup of the Obed River within the City of Crossville.  Our goal is to remove trash from the Old Sparta Hwy bridge (behind Kroger) to the 127 bridge near the interstate if we can recruit enough volunteers.  If you would like to help with this, contact Dennis at 484-9033.  We need   individual volunteers as well as teams from schools, scouts, churches, and civic groups.  All volunteers will receive a T-shirt and we’ll supply trash bags and everything else needed, as well as drinks and snacks at the end.  Let’s think big and show the love for our hometown stream. 

WaterFest 2015

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Meadow Park Lake

3 - 8 p.m.

    This is our fourth year for WaterFest and each year it’s gotten bigger and better.  Last year, almost a thousand people attended, with almost 250 people getting out in the water.  Our friends at TSRA will be running the on-water activities, helping people select the boat of their choice, making sure that they know how to paddle it, and ensuring that everyone has fun and is safe.  Leisure Kraft is again loaning one of their pontoon boats so that with the city’s pontoon, there are two boats running motorized tours of the lake.

    There will be lots of educational exhibits with the State Park’s live animals, TWRA’s big fish tank of fish from the lake, the National Park Service, and others.   The Children’s program will be back again with games and activities for children off the water.  Finally, the music begins at 5:00 with our favorites Steep Creek and Carrie Hassler each providing their popular form of music.  Of course, there is food and drinks for sale, but the best thing is everything else is FREE.

    As you might expect, an event like this takes lots of people working together, so we need more and more volunteers each year.  If you want to be part of the planning or just can give an hour on the day of the event, we can use your help.  June Zettelmeyer is coordinating volunteers, so give her a call at 788-5022 and she’ll match you with an activity that you’ll enjoy.  Follow the latest developments on WaterFest by visiting our WaterFest website.





  • Posted Sep 4, 2013, 10:10 AM by Angela Damron
  • Upcoming Activities and Event Dates - October/November 2015!

     October Activities

    5K Keep it Clean and Fun Run
    Saturday October 10
    9:00 a.m. Cumberland Mountain State Park

         Don't miss this great fun event and OWCA fundraiser.  Registration information is on home page

    November Activities

    Annual Meeting and 10th Year Celebration

    Friday, November 6
    6:00 p.m.  Forte's Restaurant
    (on the Courthouse Square)

        OWCA was founded in 2005 so we're taking this year to celebrate.  We'll still conduct the important business of electing board members and officers, but we're going to take time to both look backward and forward.  Dennis is putting together a presentation on the first ten years and we'll invite others to share reflections as well.  We're also going to ask our members to both dream and plan together for next year and the future.  Please come and participate.

        We've decided to meet this year at Forte's.  Both the restaurant and the bar will be open for ordering, but you don't need to order anything to participate in our Annual Meeting.  

    Board Nominations Sought

         We have openings for Board members, so if you would like to be nominated at the Annual Meeting, please let Bill Morgan know.  If you have been thinking about raising your involvement in the organization to the next level but have questions about the commitment, call Bill Morgan to discuss the expectations for Board members. Bill’s number is 456-9040.   

    WaterFest Website:  crossvillewaterfest.org   There is a great collections of photos from our great 2015 edition of WaterFest

     Amazon Shopping Link

    Amazon’s program to help non-profits continues all year.  If you’re going to make seasonal purchases through Amazon, help OWCA by using the link: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/72-1594762


         The OWCA Board includes Bill Morgan (President),  Mary Lou Matteson (Treasurer), Hugh Thomforde (Secretary), Matt Matteson, Robert Safdie, and Denise Aquista. 

    OWCA sponsors are CoLinx, VEC Customer Share, MTNG Hometown Help, Manchester Tank,  Silvara Stone, Crossville Friends Meeting, Veolia Water NA, Tennessee Heart, Cumberland Medical Center, EcoTravel Plaza, Stonehaus Winery, FirstBank, Highland Federal Savings and Loan, and Cumberland County Bank. 

     OWCA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization.  Tax deductible contributions can be sent to OWCA, 184 Hood Dr. Crossville, TN 38555.  Dennis Gregg is the Executive Director and can be reached at 484-9033 or 210-3611.

    405 4th St

    Posted Sep 9, 2015, 8:39 PM by Dennis Gregg
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